Cole thanks Hammers fans

Joe Cole has thanked the Claret and Blue Army for their support on his departure from West Ham United.

The midfielder will leave the Boleyn Ground for a second time when his contract expires on 30 June, having made 37 appearances and scored five goals since rejoining the Club in January 2013.

Now 32, the Academy graduate and former Hammer of the Year, FA Youth Cup, UEFA Intertoto Cup, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup winner became a firm favourite among West Ham fans after emerging as a teenager in the late 1990s.

After spells with Chelsea, Liverpool and French side Lille, Cole returned to east London 18 months ago and has contributed to West Ham re-establishing themselves in the Barclays Premier League during that period.

Throughout both spells at the Club, Cole has enjoyed an outstanding relationship with the backroom staff, his team-mates and supporters due to his outstanding talent, professionalism and engaging character.

As he prepares for the next chapter in a career that saw him earn 56 England caps and represent his country and four major tournaments, the midfielder found time to thank the Club where he learnt his trade.

"It's a great Club," said Cole. "Returning West Ham, it was a fantastic opportunity to play for the Club again. We finished 13th this year and we'd have liked to have finished higher, but we move on and hopefully next season they'll continue to keep their place in the Premier League and move onto a top-ten finish.

"Every day is great to play and train at West Ham. It was a pleasure to play with the lads and I can't thank them enough, they were fantastic.

"The fans are always great with me and I wish them all the best for the future."

West Ham United would like to thank Joe for his outstanding contribution to the Club and wish him all the very best for the future.